Volleyball Falls at Hartford in Five Sets

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Junior Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) registered 13 kills and freshman Tori Forrest (Powder Springs, Ga.) posted her second straight double-double, but the University of New Hampshire volleyball team fell at Hartford, 3-2, Saturday evening at the Sports Center.

New Hampshire dips to 12-10 overall and 4-2 in America East, while Hartford moves to 8-14 on the season and 2-4 in conference play. Set scores in the match were 25-21, 25-27, 25-17, 15-25 and 12-15.

Forrest recorded 11 kills and 14 digs, while freshmen Abby Brinkman (Brecksville, Ohio) and Brenna Buckwalter (Evergreen, Colo.) added 11 kills apiece. Senior Jansan Falcusan (Plymouth, Mich.) and Taylor Dunklau (Mukwonago, Wis.) racked up 29 and 18 assists, respectively. Senior Jessie Schnepp (East Longmeadow, Mass.) led all players with 32 digs, while sophomore Sam Henke (Millersville, Md.) also reached double-figures with 12 digs. As a team, the Wildcats totaled 30 blocks, led by junior Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) with 10 deflections.

The teams were tightly contested to open the first set with ten points apiece, but UNH used a 7-1 run to move out in front at 17-11. Thatcher highlighted the Wildcat run with three kills during the stretch. From there, the Hawks continued to chip away and pulled within one at 19-18, but the Wildcats held on for the 25-21 victory.

Once again, the teams were knotted up at 10-10 to open the second set, but this time the Hawks rattled off nine consecutive points for the 19-11 lead. Still down by nine at 22-13, UNH rallied with an 8-0 run to trim the deficit to 22-21. After trading points, the Wildcats evened the score at 23-23 by taking advantage of a Hawk attack error. The teams continued to trade points until Hartford ended with back-to-back points to claim the set, 27-25.

In the third set, New Hampshire padded a slim one-point lead with five unanswered for the 14-8 advantage. Hartford pulled within three, 16-13, but UNH answered back with three straight for the 19-13 lead. The Wildcats were in control the rest of the way and ended the stanza with three consecutive points to take the set, 25-17.

Hartford rebounded in the fourth set, jumping out to a 10-5 lead. The Hawks cruised the rest of the way, racking up 15 kills for a .294 hitting percentage en route to the 25-15 victory to force a fifth and final set.

In that set, the teams swapped slim leads and after six even scores, everything was knotted up at 12 points apiece. However, Hartford netted the next three points to claim the set, 15-12, and seal the victory.

The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Oct. 20 when they visit Providence at 4 p.m.

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